I have measured out my life with coffee spoons, said T.S. Elliot. Every writer can identify – how many times has a pot of coffee helped you power through writer’s block and bust those deadlines?

Coffee Love Lifts Us Up...

A writer’s love affair with coffee is well documented – in fact, writers and editors have one of the highest rates of coffee consumption by profession. Now, just why do we drink so much coffee? Whilst writing is a creative activity, those of us who write for a living often cannot afford the luxury of simply writing when we feel so inspired – those creative juices need to flow on demand, every day, day in, day out, if we’re to earn our keep. So, when we’re tired and out of ideas, caffeine acts as a crutch – boosting energy, decreasing fatigue and enhancing physical, cognitive and motor performance, as well as concentration…at least in the short-term (read more about that here).

Coffee breaks also allow us to step away from our desks, stretch our legs and take a breather. And they allow us notoriously solitary creatures to socialise and swap ideas – all of which equals inspiration.

An Unhealthy Relationship?

Like every writer, I am a sucker for a caffeine kick, drinking anywhere from two to six cups of coffee per day, depending on my work load. Filter coffee only, I might add – instant coffee just doesn’t count! (What about you – how many cups a day do you drink?).

Now here’s the disclaimer: While it helps kick start us in the mornings, or get us through the occasional impossible copy deadline, we should also make sure we’re doing enough of the other things we need to sustain creativity and body, mind and soul – eating right, exercising and taking decent time off. When it comes to coffee consumption, fellow writers, it really is a case of quality over quantity!